The Lion King’s Kenya
The original Lion King wouldn’t be the same movie without its setting, and the real-life inspiration is “no less majestic,” said Abigail Higgins in NationalGeographic.com. Before inventing the film’s iconic Pride Rock, Disney’s animators traveled to Kenya’s Hell’s Gate National Park, a section of the Great Rift Valley where cliffs ring a prehistoric lake bed. Visitors won’t see Simba (which means “lion” in Swahili), but that’s a good thing: Because there are no big cats, Hell’s Gate is one of the few parks in East Africa you can safely hike from end to end. “You’re likely to see animals all day, such as families of warthogs dashing across the road, or herds of gazelles frolicking through acacias.” And instead of peeking out the top of a Jeep, you can take a safari on bicycles. “There’s nothing like pedaling past a herd of zebras or trying to keep pace with a galloping giraffe.” The park’s volcanic landscapes also offer excellent rock climbing.